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Origami Packaging Novel Printed Antenna Technology for Ad-hoc Sensor Applications
Keywords: Origami Packaging, Printed Antennas, Ad-hoc sensors
Both the Military and Commercial Sectors are in need of a low cost high volume technology that addresses the capability for small sensor communication devices. This paper discusses a collaborative effort between University of South Florida and Harris Corporation that focuses on the analysis, design and fabrication of a paper thin fold-up integrated antenna. The work presented in this abstract introduces a 3-D antenna designed and fabricated on a flexible paper thin substrate for operation at 915MHz with a frequency bandwidth ranging from 902-928 MHz. The major innovative feature introduced in this work is the use of a deposition process for printing radiating elements over a 3-D structure. For this design, the antenna selected is a printed dipole due to its simplicity and radiation characteristics (omni-directional pattern). The 3-D substrate over which this dipole is printed is the tetrahedron (pyramid with a triangle as base), a geometrical polyhedron offering symmetry and an excellent candidacy to illustrate the new paper thin antenna structural integration. The layout of the antenna consists of a dipole printed on two sides of the tetrahedron connected to a balanced-to-unbalanced line transition on a third side. The base of the tetrahedron serves as a ground plane for the microstrip feed (coax feed). Furthermore, an L-C-L matching network is integrated to enhance the impedance match coming from the parallel plate section to the microstrip section of the line. The tetrahedron antenna is first designed and simulated (HFSS10) on a flat configuration. Next, its dimensions are optimized and folded into a tetrahedron. The simulation results have demonstrated that a good radiator has been achieved, conserving adequate dipole characteristics. Finally, a prototype of this tetrahedron is fabricated on paper, LCP, and etched copper LCP substrates. The results support a satisfactory operation for the design.
Sergio Melais, Research Assistant
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL

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